Jackson MST holds mock election

While the nation awaits the results of Tuesday’s midterm election, students at Jackson Technology Center for Math & Science will wait to see if they correctly predicted the state’s winners. The campus held a mock election Friday, Oct. 31.

“We wanted to give our students the actual experience of voting, so we tried to make the area look as close to a voting booth as possible,” said social studies teacher Carole Jane Hensleigh. “The plan is to do an actual comparison between our results and the state’s, continuing the lesson in class.”

Jackson’s library served as the day’s voting location. Students had to check in and wait in line for the next free booth. They could also have one last look at the candidates online prior to voting. Manila folders were strategically placed to make the voting experience a private one, and students used an iPad to cast their ballot.

“I was excited when I got to vote,” commented seventh-grader Felix Ayuso. “This gives us a head start on how to vote when we grow up. Kids have a decision, a voice, like older people do. We matter just like adults.”

U.S. history teacher Chawn Cummings is the man who brought this experience to the Viking community.

“Civics is part of our curriculum, and voting is a major component,” he said. “I read an article that said participation for the midterm elections drops about 40 percent. So, I thought, I am going to do a mock election. It has been great for the kids.”

Students dedicated one week to the midterm elections. They studied the candidates, discussed political topics and watched debates. Many also had to prepare an overview presentation of the week’s findings.

“Just getting students to think about the issues is the beginning,” Cummings explained. “But one of the biggest takeaways is to have them realize that it is important to vote and have them talking about how they went through this process. We are also asking them to have a conversation with their parents about the election.”

Registered voters across the nation will have the opportunity to exercise their civic duty Election Day Tuesday, Nov. 4. In addition to the congressional and gubernatorial races, Garland ISD voters will see the district’s 2014 bond proposal on the ballot.  

The $455.5 million bond package currently includes projects that address aging facilities, student safety and 21st-century education. Under the bond’s currently proposed use, all 85 district facilities would receive building or technology upgrades.

Several GISD schools and city buildings will serve as polling locations from 7 a.m.-7 p.m Tuesday. Visit Dallas County Elections’ website to see a complete list.